Zaanse Schans


If Windmills are what you want to see, this is the place to come!

Situated on the bank of the Zaan river, Zaanse Schans is an open air conservation area and museum with functioning windmills, traditional green wooden houses and craftsman's workshops, replicating a Dutch village from the 18th & 19th centuries.

The Windmills of Zaanse Schans

Windmills played an important part in the development of Netherlands by pumping out water from the Polders to reclaim land from the sea.

A one time there were over 1100 windmills in this area. Today, there are only 8 big windmills here, all of which are functional and are meticulously preserved.

Het Jonge Schaap (The young sheep), a functioning sawmill.

De Gekroonde Poelenburg (The Crowned Poelenburg) 
This is a functioning sawmill. Built in 1867, it was moved to this location in 1963, which is why you see two dates against the name at the top of the windmill.

De Zoeker (The Seeker) is an oil mill which presses seeds such as linseed and rapeseed into vegetable oil. It is the only oil mill still in operation.

De Zoeker, one of the oldest windmills in the world, was built in 1672.

Let's have a look inside De Zoeker...

Linseed oil being made the traditional way by crushing seeds under the millstones.

Two massive millstones, each weighing 2.5 tons, crush the seeds. These were transported all the way from Belgium, where this particular type of stone is available.

Most of the mechanism in the windmill is made from wood and stone, very little metal is used. Seen here is the mechanism that transmits wind power from the sails to turn the millstones.

Bright orange sail against a deep blue sky.

De Hadel (The Meadow) 
A miniature windmill used to pump water out from the Polder.

Baby tomatoes growing on a hedge along the windmills.

A charming farm house in Zaanse Schans.

A picturesque scene at Zaanse Schans. 
Tags: Zaanse Schans, Holland, Netherlands, Europe
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